3-day Hands-on Training on the Application of Earth Observation Data for Achieving the SDGs

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  • DATE / TIME:
    November 12, 2019 - November 14, 2019

    The United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA), in collaboration with the Center for Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Services (CERSGIS), is organizing a three-day course on the use of Earth Observation (EO) and how it can contribute to the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The course is designed for students, staff of public institutions and private sector players.

    Date: 12th – 14th November, 2019

    Venue: UNU-INRA, 2nd Floor, International House, University of Ghana Campus


    The SDGs provide a pathway for signatory countries to achieve sustainable development by acting to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure peace and prosperity for all. Satellite Remote Sensing (RS) data from Earth Observation (EO) systems have been found to support the monitoring of targets and indicators towards achieving the goals. For example, it has been revealed that RS data contribute to monitoring the progress of 71 SDG targets and aid in directly or indirectly measuring 29 SDG indicators1. Integration and use of RS data in national programs developed within the framework of the SDGs is therefore critical for the attainment of the 17 goals.

    Compared to the period prior to 2008, when RS data were too expensive for African countries to afford, access to freely available RS data has increased tremendously in the last couple of years. This is primarily due to the launch of the Landsat Operational Land Imager (OLI) in 2013 and the Sentinel suite of satellites from 2014. Together with a comprehensive data from historical Landsat missions, these two missions provide a complete coverage of the earth’s surface at time scales ranging from 5 to 17 days. The launch of the Sentinel-1 satellite, which provides Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data, largely overcomes the challenge of optical sensors such as Landsat in acquiring useful images in excessive cloud cover conditions. Apart from the increasing availability of free RS data, there has been a major shift in application software from a few expensive proprietary software forty years ago (e.g. Erdas Imagine, ENVI) to open access and extendable software application (e.g. SNAP, QGIS, R, etc.) to process satellite RS data from EO systems. These conditions notwithstanding, Africa is yet to fully take advantage of RS data to improve natural resource management for economic development, environmental sustainability and improved livelihoods.

    This training, which is part of a series of trainings planned to enhance the capacity of participants in applying RS to monitor and achieve the SDG goals, will focus on RS applications that can enable the realization of SDG 2 (food security).

    Course content

    The course will have two modules:

    Module 1: This module will provide participants with the theoretical background to EO systems, data and analysis procedures. Differences in orbital systems, data acquisition modes, data types, characteristics (e.g. resolution) and format will be addressed. Participants will learn how to obtain open access EO data and application software. Sub-modules to be treated are: (a) theoretical background to EO systems, (b) access to EO data and application software, (c) EO data analysis and (d) tutorials and hands-on exercises.

    Module 2: This module will provide examples of practical application of EO data in agricultural management. It will draw on the experience participants would have acquired from module 1. Four sub-modules will be treated: (a) cropland/crop type mapping and area estimation, (b) crop growth monitoring, (c) crop yield modelling/forecasting and (d) current trends in data acquisition and systems.

    Target audience

    • Students (undergraduate, postgraduate, diploma)
    • Staff of agriculture-related national institutions/ministries (e.g. MoFA, GIDA, COCOBOD)
    • Researchers and Academia
    • Private sector players (e.g. agribusiness owners)

    Application process and deadline

    Interested participants should fill the online application form at Register.

    Alternatively, participants can express their interest by sending an email to: forkuor@unu.edu

    Application deadline is: 30th October 2019; deadline for paying course fees is: 8th November.

    Course fee

    GHC 800 including catering and course materials.

  • Email: forkuor@unu.edu